How will She-Hulk tell Hulk’s story? Following a blown opportunity in Avengers: Endgame, the She-Hulk series coming to Disney+ will give Hulk and his sensational cousin their due. Tatiana Maslany’s series offers many opportunities to discover the protagonist in ways that have only appeared in the most recent comics, despite the comics’ comedic nature suggesting that the series will stay true to its roots. However, She-Hulk has some promising implications for her once-angry counterpart, the Hulk.
With the help of a life-saving blood transfusion, Jennifer Walters first appeared in The Savage She-Hulk #1 (1980). Walters, in contrast to Bruce Banner, retained the majority of her ability to reason despite her enhanced personality. As the character became more satirically skewed, her differences from her cousin led to her becoming particularly popular. Nowhere was this more apparent than in her apparent awareness that she was walking in the footsteps of the notorious fourth-wall-breaker Deadpool.
The Hulk has been Marvel’s most difficult character to bring to life on the big screen, and She-Hulk may be able to correct some of the mistakes they’ve made. The portrayal of Bruce Banner in The Avengers by Mark Ruffalo, who replaced Edward Norton, was a great success. However, a series of creative decisions, such as Banner’s connection with Natasha Romanov in Avengers: Age of Ultron and the relatively close absence of the Hulk in Avengers: Infinity War, were made that were questionable.
The ultimate example of this was the decision to introduce “Smart Hulk” in Avengers: Endgame without showing his transformation, denying moviegoers the opportunity to watch Bruce Banner’s struggles with the Hulk unfold. With the upcoming She-Hulk series, fans will get the story they’ve been waiting for, albeit not in the way they’d expected it.
She-ability Hulk’s ability to exert self-control has long been a draw for fans. So, in contrast to her more depressive cousin, she bectheme a poster child for self-acceptance and self-confidence. While that may still be the case, the series allows the character to develop into that role rather than simply becoming that way because she acquires these new abilities.
With Bruce apparently at a point of equilibrium with Hulk, there is less of a need for her to simply be a foil for him. While her personality quirks would be far less turbulent and potentially damaging, audiences would get to see them play out to their logical conclusion if she had similar difficulties taming this more assertive side of herself.
Additionally, this series offers a new perspective on the relationship between the two cousins. Savage Hulk has made several appearances in the comics before, but they were all short-lived or given to characters other than Bruce Banner. In the Shang-Chi post-credits scene, it’s not clear how this might work with Banner’s human appearance, but Smart Hulk’s sustained presence could completely flip this dynamic.
This Bruce Banner may be able to help her adjust to this change because he has been through something similar himself. It is unlikely that she will be completely unable to control herself. In the end, She-Hulk had the opportunity to not only strengthen their bond but also to make good on a promise that had been broken in Avengers: Endgame due to a time jump.